Spoon-fed manipulation

Election results breed contempt despite pleas for democracy

By The Advocate, Editorial Board

Four months after President Donald Trump’s election the political war of ideologies still wages — but the war front transcends the bloody steps on the UC Berkeley campus.

We live in a society that fights hate with hate. If disagreements about race, religion, gender, jobs or immigration on social media could become violent physical encounters, they would. Political conflicts should not devolve into fisticuffs, but at an alarmingly increasing rate they do.

The most recent eruption of violence began when anti-Trump protesters and Black Bloc anarchists on the UC Berkeley campus confronted a small group of Trump supporters on Monday.

Anti-Trump protesters and Trump supporters clashed with sticks, kicks, fists and pepper spray as Berkeley Police officers in riot gear contained the violence.

As Americans watch their brothers and sisters tear into each other in major cities nationwide, we should ask ourselves a question: How did we get here?

To be fair, the catalysts of this disarray are not the “racist” conservatives who voted for Trump. Nor are they the liberal “snowflakes.”

The truth is mainstream media outlets like CNN, FOX News and MSNBC, who have traded traditional journalistic standards of accuracy, clarity and fairness for high ratings, are fueling this war.

People on both extremes of the political spectrum, liberal and conservative, have become so desensitized to lies that facts no longer hold any power.

Conservative and liberal media outlets spend millions creating innocuous agendas that spread half-truths, innuendo and factual errors to intensify conflict and gain viewers.

The advent of social media has amplified our echo chambers to new heights.

It is becoming a rarity where people are exposed to ideas that counter their own, not because they no longer exist, but because those ideas are not profitable to target-based corporate media.

Instead, news stories appear on social media timelines based on what that individual likes or can be sold — instead of what is important.

Being spoon-fed information through algorithm or catering to the avoidance of cognitive dissonance, can only lead to a generation of people who will be unable to find common ground on nuanced issues.

Media moguls and billionaires like Rupert Murdoch, George Soros and even our president are exploiting the weak state of American journalism. Profit-driven media organizations and the POTUS have abandoned reporting the why and how for accusations that aren’t backed by evidence or named sources. Instead, the marketplace of lies demands conflict.

This discord is followed by a bevy of commercials offering purchasable trinkets and shiny gadgets to make everything feel better again. Do not feed the fire of ignorance.

If you do not support Trump’s vision of America then express it with symbols that allow people to have a better understanding of a conflict and reach a solution — words.

We do not support any political ideology or group that encourages its supporters to resort to acts of violence against another person simply because they disagree.

We share this new reality. So let’s begin to act like we give a damn about one another.